December 9, 2016

Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxy & Small Magellanic Cloud Galaxy seen over Auxiliary Telescopes of the VLT Array at ESO's Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal in Chile

Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxy & Small Magellanic Cloud Galaxy seen over Auxiliary Telescopes of the VLT Array at ESO's Paranal Observatory

This beautiful image taken at ESO's Paranal Observatory shows the four Auxiliary Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Array, set against an incredibly starry backdrop on Cerro Paranal in Chile.

The Auxiliary Telescopes are each 1.8 metres in diameter and work with the four 8.2-metre diameter Unit Telescopes to make up the world's most advanced optical observatory.

The telescopes work together to form the VLT Interferometer (VLTI), a giant interferometer which allows astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than would be possible with the individual Unit Telescopes.

Hanging over the site are the prominent Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, visible only in the southern sky. These two irregular dwarf galaxies are in the Local Group and so are companion galaxies to our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Image Credit: ESO/J. Colosimo
Explanation from: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1511a/

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